I was 12 years old when I met this gorgeous girl with silky red hair and I thought “Wow… she is BEAUTIFUL! I… I want to be her best friend…” Later that night, in the tent we built in the middle of the living room, she fell asleep with her head resting on my side, and it wasn’t until many years later that I realized the warmth I felt in the pit of my stomach when I looked down at her wasn’t a longing for friendship.
I often tell people that my coming out process wasn’t a matter of figuring out that I was queer, it was a matter of figuring out that everyone else wasn’t. By 16 years old I was proudly and openly identifying as bi, by 21 I had moved into using the label queer. Bi didn’t feel quite right anymore and queer feelt like it better encompassed not only the wide range of genders I could be attracted to, but also my social and political beliefs. Ever since taking on that identity, like many folks, I worried that I wasn’t queer enough.
I felt queer, I felt it deep in my bones, I knew this was my community, and I knew my sexuality did not look like media’s representation of it. I knew I wasn’t straight, yet I couldn’t deny that I was more attracted to folks on the masculine side of the spectrum. I love women and femmes, but I rarely felt as viscerally attracted to them as I did to men and masculine folx. Vulvas are rad, but penises made me melt. I didn’t know how to reconcile that. I knew that there was no one wandering around my community with a “You Must Be This Queer To Play” sign yet I was afraid to mention that, for all intents and purposes, my preferences seemed decidedly straight.
For a time, I wondered if it was simply my lack of experience that made my attractions less tangible. All of the sex I’d had until that point was with cis men, I’d had limited contact with vulvas other than my own, and to be honest, I didn’t spend that much time with my own either. I never cared much for clit stimulation and mine was so small it was damn near impossible to find with my fingers or on a mirror, so I often just settled for ramming a vibe against my junk until orgasm. Vulvas scared me, they seemed intimidating and unknown, plus there’s more than enough cultural messaging out there telling us how complicated they are.
I used to fantasize about hiring a sex worker, to ask her to let me experiment on her body the way I wasn’t comfortable doing on my own. I imagined a nurturing dominant who would gently coach me on exactly where and how to touch her, who would be comfortable with sex that was more exploratory than passionate, who wouldn’t have any expectations of me. “Be a good little one and suck more on my clit” “Feel for my g-spot, see that? Now push a little harder on it…” I’d have a chance to learn a body that was different and also familiar, to learn enough that I wouldn’t have to be anxious about sex with a new person.
I browsed countless websites, Hobart Escorts, Gold Coast Escorts, it didn’t matter that they were outside of any reasonable radius to contact, at 20 years old they were also outside of my budget, but that didn’t stop me from looking and imagining what it might be like. The idea was both safe and exciting, and seemed like the perfect gateway into queerness, but I never took the leap.
I did however, start pursuing play with a number of women and femme folks I’ve met over the years, and always enjoyed it thoroughly. Somehow though, something still couldn’t quite compare, I rarely craved femininity the way I craved masculine energy, I rarely ached to taste vulva or feel soft curves pushed against me the way I felt drawn to grabbing erections through jeans and the feeling of a cock in the back of my throat. I obviously recognize that femininity/vulvas and masculinity/dicks don’t always go hand in hand, I’m talking about them as two separate things. I craved masculinity and I craved dicks, the fact that the Venn diagram of those two traits all too often lands on cis men is coincidental (and frankly, occasionally rather annoying) and did nothing to help assuage my “not queer enough” fears. Sex with women and femmes was always nice, it was fun, but it never felt like a core part of my sexuality.
I was 25, I thought I had all of this figured out. It was nearly a decade since I first started exploring my sexuality, what more could I possibly have to learn? Turns out, a whole hell of a lot. My Not Queer Enough worries had given way to Not Trans Enough feelings which were now capturing all of my attention, like toddler with a megaphone was living inside of my skull.
After months of wrestling with my identity I’ve come to a place where I’m finding I’m most comfortable firmly on the masculine side of the spectrum. I’m taking testosterone, I bind my chest and use a packer almost daily, I call myself a trans guy, and I’m even experimenting with he/him pronouns (versus They/Them which I’ve been using for well over a year now). Once I made it here, not at the end of my journey by any means, but at a comfortable rest stop where I expect to be spending a lot of my time, something clicked. Oh… OH! That’s why I always felt gayer than I seemed, that’s what always felt wrong about sex with femmes.
I’m a guy.
My attraction to masculinity is gay, that is my queerness. It wasn’t femininity that I wasn’t feeling attracted to, it was lesbian sex. I never felt like a lesbian, I never connected with lesbian culture. Meanwhile, the more I explore gay culture the more I am amazed by how great it feels. Sure, the cis gays are problematic as all hell, but I still connect with that world more than I ever did with lesbians.
Recently I found myself in a NYC apartment, my head resting on the chest of the man I had been playing with for the better part of an hour, when I started to feel out of it, disconnected. I slid down his body and started to suck his cock, trying to distract myself from the fog rolling into my brain and he chuckled to himself.
Suddenly I snapped back into my body as I smiled around his dick, the fog retreating to hover in the corners of my brain. I have more than 25 years of thinking of myself as a girl, even if it didn’t quite fit, and that’s a hell of a habit to break. I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong at the time, but the problem was I had started to feel like a girl and that felt wrong. Being reminded in that moment that I was a boy was the hottest possible thing anyone could do.
The first time I fantasized about playing with a femme and cast myself as a boy, the effect was similar. There it was, the connection and visceral attraction that I was looking for. It didn’t just feel “nice” the way fantasies about lesbian sex felt, it felt hot. Cliches about lesbian sex aside, the activities were the same before an after. Fingers and fists in holes, mouths on necks, strap on bjs and cunnilingus, power and pain, the sex would look identical from the outside, it all just came down to how I conceptualized myself in that exchange.
I think this is the only time in my life I’ve ever wanted something to be straight.